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Solfege with Turkish Folk Tunes

  • Composers: Ali Sevgi – Erdal Tuğcular
  • ISBN:978-605-63620-6-4
  • Printing Date: Eylül 2013
  • Dimentions: 21 x 29.7 cm.
  • Page Numbers: 104 sayfa
  • Edition Müzik Eğitimi Yayınları No.47
  • Solfege Books Series No.01
  • Price: 20TL.

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How can someone learn ear training and what learning methods are out there? This is a question that interests all the music educators around the world.

I believe that in order to better understand the universal works of art, first we need to focus on our own culture and discover its values for our own society. When we are also interested in universal art works, this should not oblige us to eliminate the need for incorporating our own culture. While taking this extra step, we would determine our traditions and be able to pass it along to younger generations.

It is highly important that we use all educational resources about the folk music. An example of this kind of resource is a book titled “Kir Cicekleri” by Turkish composer Muammer Sun. His book is now being used in the classrooms to educate prospective music teachers and students in addition to standard text books. The purpose of this book and its impact in ear training can be summarized as follows:

1. To teach the uneven “aksak” folk rhythms in ear training.
2. To raise awareness for multiple time signatures changing within a piece; thus this will point out that the student need to get ready for such changes.
3. To inform the music students about the modes (makams) used in traditional Turkish Art music.
4. To raise the level of taste when it comes to recognize folk compositions and accordingly have the student promote a better repertoire of songs.
5. To show the rich variety of songs which are selected from various different geological parts of the country.

In this published work, the main motivation is based on these following:

1. To point out the need for reading materials in ear training rather than leaving the student with some vague verbal information
2. To provide knowledge in folk song literature
3. To have musical notation in guiding the student
4. To arrange higher range vocal parts to lower ranges for easier use of the voice

The prospective ear training teachers who will be using this book are welcome to change the order of the material presented in this book. Despite the fact that this book was first published in 1995 by Sevda Cenap And Foundation, I am fortunate that I was asked by my former student and colleague Prof. Dr. Suleyman Tarman to revise a new edition which is now available through the Edition Muzik Egitimi Publications. I would like to thank to everyone who made this edition possible.

Prof. Ali Sevgi

Modes in Turkish Folk Music

This book is intended for music students who need to find out about the Turkish folk songs and appreciate its value within the music literature as well as to discover the traditions and modes that belong to student’s home land of Turkey.

The musicians and other people who are interested in music in general don’t necessarily have the knowledge about Turkish folk songs. While there are already existing institutions around the country for folk music education, there surely are not enough resources available.

The Turkish traditional music is divided into two branches: the traditional art music and the traditional folk music. They both have several things in common such as modes, pitch system and manner. The art music comes from long standing ancient traditions whereas the folk music is from oral traditions. As a result the folk music should benefit from the written system of the art music.

The mode can represent a variety of musical features including melodic structure, pitch relations, strong pitch, ascending and descending lines, quarter tones and pitch range. The folk music utilizes about 15 to 16 different modes. When compared, this number is much greater in the art music. Both music styles share similar or same modes however in some instances a very same mode may function differently based on the music it is being used. In this book, when a mode is introduced, it is named after the mode that associates with the written version instead of the performed pitch level. For instance, the mode “Hicaz” has been used for different melodies even though each melody may be based on another pitch.

We know from general practice that folk music performers don’t prefer to use the word makam (mode) when referring to tonalities in the songs. “Ayak” is one of the popular words being used to describe the mode. However this word is not able to fully describe the real meaning of a mode with its settings.

Accordingly I preferred to use the word makam for all the songs in this book in order to raise awareness.
I wish that this book will serve properly in the instruction of ear training for Turkish folk music and it will help to enrich individuals who are studying folk songs.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erdal TUĞCULAR